A few quick updates on bento news around the community.
1. Bento photo contest at Not Exactly Bento
The Not Exactly Bento blog is running a Bento Photo Contest for the best picture of a bento you’ve made. Bentos can be either recent or older, but no character or kyaraben food art bentos. Each person can submit up to two entries. There are two bento sets available as prizes, and readers will vote on the best photos. Deadline is August 22, so pretty soon. (I keep an updated list of current lunch-packing contests and blog events at my Lunch Blog Events page; this has been on there for a little while.)
2. Vegan Lunchbox posting again
Jennifer McCann over at award-winning Vegan Lunchbox is posting regularly to her blog again after a hiatus to home-school her son. She’s the author of the book Vegan Lunch Box: 130 Amazing, Animal-Free Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love!, which has vegan packed lunch ideas and recipes that would also work for bento-style lunches. Her original book was picked up by a larger publisher, reworked, and re-released last week. Congratulations, Jennifer!
3. La Carmina to write “Cooking Cute” bento book
Speaking of books, author and blogger La Carmina signed a deal with Penguin USA to write a book about kyara-ben tentatively titled “Cooking Cute” (release date TBA). As far as I know, the book has no relation to the well-known Cooking Cute bento blog — I do wonder if this is going to pose a problem or market confusion. Hope Ngoc didn’t plan on writing a book with the same name as her blog…
4. Lunch in a Box in Stars & Stripes
I was surprised when reader Missy let me know that the U.S. military newspaper Stars & Stripes had run an article last week spotlighting Lunch in a Box on page 2 of all of their August 8, 2008 editions worldwide. What a pleasant surprise! So a big welcome to new readers around the world — glad to have you here, and be sure to have a look at the Bento FAQ. Thanks Missy! (See the Press and Awards page for more press and notable web mentions.)
5. Request from Tampa Bay Area journalist
I got an e-mail from a Tampa Bay Area newspaper journalist looking to interview a local mom who makes bento lunches for her children. If you fit the description and would like to be interviewed for a newspaper article, please e-mail me at lunchinabox (AT] gmail (DOT} com and I’ll put you in touch. Cheers!